Commentary

The Fall of the Titans!

The performance of a market-cap-weighted index is driven by a handful of stocks with the largest capitalizations, but these stocks do not remain at the top for long. A smart beta multi-factor strategy is a good solution for investors concerned about the concentration risk of a passive market-cap tracker.

Commentary

The Time Is Now: Climate Transition Investing for US Investors

Climate research informs us that in 2017 anthropogenic global warming reached1.0° C above pre-industrial levels (IPCC, 2018).

Commentary

Factor Timing: Keep It Simple

Factor timing is the ability to add value to an investment strategy by altering the exposure to various factors through time.

Commentary

Big Market Delusion: Electric Vehicles

The “big market delusion” is when all firms in an evolving industry rise together, although as competitors ultimately some will win and some will lose.

Commentary

As Duration Dies, Equities Rise

We compare the current value of bonds versus stocks within the context of the equity risk premium. We couple this analysis with an evaluation of possible Fed policy direction. Our conclusion is that risk assets, such as US equities and corporate bonds, are poised to benefit as are gold and other commodities due to tumbling real yields and dollar weakening.

Commentary

How COVID-19 Vaccines and Brexit Create the Trade of the 2020s

In late 2020, a new kid emerged on the bargain-of-the-decade block. UK stocks, and notably UK value, reached very cheap levels relative to value stocks in other developed economies. Today, UK value remains at remarkably low valuations relative to most of its fundamentals.

Commentary

Reports of Value's Death May Be Greatly Exaggerated

Rob Arnott: “There hasn’t been a better time to be a value investor at any other time in my career. I look back at the tech bubble and I never thought I would see valuations stretched the way they were then. We're back to that, and then some." We invite you to revisit “Reports of Value’s Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated” now published in the Financial Analysts Journal.

Commentary

Surprise! Factor Betas Don’t Deliver Factor Alphas

By buying or overweighting characteristics-based factor exposure and selling or underweighting beta-based factor exposure, investors can position their portfolios to reap the rewards of factor investing while bearing less risk.

Commentary

Beware the Shocks in the Road

Massive growth in central bank balance sheets via quantitative easing, debt monetization, and firing of “big bazooka” stimulus packages brings renewed focus to potential shocks in the business cycle. An awareness of the macroeconomic “shocks” and their impact on asset prices should be incorporated in investors’ tactical asset-allocation decisions.

Commentary

Is Diversification Dead?

Over the last dozen years, investors holding the classic US 60/40 portfolio were substantially better off than their diversified peers, yet now is not the time to abandon diversification and diversifying asset classes. We believe it is imprudent to trust that escalation in valuations will continue unabated into the next decade...

Commentary

Bitcoin: Magic Internet Money

The sage advice to “know what you are investing in” is being dangerously overlooked by both novice and seasoned investors when it comes to bitcoin. A former bitcoin miner explains why the price of BTC is nearly certainly a bubble and likely manipulated. Investors should proceed with extreme caution.

Commentary

Tesla, the Largest-Cap Stock Ever to Enter S&P 500: A Buy Signal or a Bubble?

On December 21, Tesla will be the largest company ever to enter the S&P 500 Index. Tesla’s skyhigh valuation, which meets our real-time definition of a bubble, conforms to the observation that market-cap-weighted indices buy high and sell low—the antithesis of prudent investing.

Commentary

Book Value Is an Incomplete Measure of Firm Size

Adding intangible assets to book value provides a more robust measure of firm capital. But, just as a home buyer considers a host of variables when evaluating the price of a new house, we prefer to use multiple metrics, not book value alone, to get the most complete picture possible of a firm’s valuation.

Commentary

The Risks to a Robust Recovery

Cam Harvey outlines seven risks that have the potential to derail the economic path forward. He believes in the possibility of a robust recovery, but prudence dictates going through the exercise of listing the risks to the recovery and assessing their economic and financial implications.

Commentary

Is ESG a Factor?

Applying the definition of factor robustness that was established by our Research Affiliates colleagues in a 2016 award-winning paper, we determine ESG is not a factor. Nevertheless, the importance of ESG as an investing strategy is undeniable. We explore how greater clarity around defining ESG can quicken the pace of ESG integration in equity portfolios.